Maryland Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
Drug crimes have long been political tools of “law and order” proponents who wanted to seem tough on crime. As a result, they are wide-reaching and prohibitive of a huge range of conduct. To the surprise of some, you do not even need to have any drugs in your possession to violate a drug law in Maryland; having drug paraphernalia can be enough.
If you have been arrested and accused of violating the law by having drug paraphernalia, hiring a Maryland drug paraphernalia lawyer can help you fight the criminal accusation you are facing, invoke your rights, and protect your future.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is any object that is deeply associated with the use of one or more drugs. While harmless in itself, lawmakers have long targeted paraphernalia because it is an indicator that the person who possesses paraphernalia also uses drugs. By outlawing paraphernalia, lawmakers have given law enforcement and police a new way to investigate potential drug users and other suspects for a crime.
Examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Marijuana growth lamps
- Glass crack pipes
- Freebasing spoons
Laws Against Drug Paraphernalia
Maryland prohibits the possession, delivery, and sale of drug paraphernalia in Maryland Criminal Code § 5-619. This is a complex statute that raises several important aspects that require explanation.
Indications that an Object is Paraphernalia
Knowing that drug paraphernalia is complex and evolving, the lawmakers who crafted Maryland’s drug paraphernalia law do not list the items that are outlawed: Instead, they provide factors that a court can use to determine if a particular object is for drug use. Some of these include:
- The proximity of the object to drug use
- Drug residue on the object
- Prior drug offenses of the person in possession of the object
- Advertising and display of an object for sale
- Expert testimony about the object
In some cases, a Maryland drug paraphernalia lawyer can use these signs to show that what was apparently paraphernalia was actually an innocent device. Prosecutors, however, are more likely to use these signs to show that a harmless object was actually used to administer illegal drugs.
Changes to Marijuana Paraphernalia Regulations
Maryland decriminalized marijuana in 2014. However, it took another year for lawmakers to change the rules that outlawed marijuana paraphernalia. Now, though, the laws that prohibit drug paraphernalia do not extend to the bongs, pipes, scales, or grinders that are associated with marijuana use.
However, it is still illegal to possess paraphernalia used to manufacture marijuana without authorization, as cultivating marijuana without a prescription is still a crime.
Penalties for a Drug Paraphernalia Possession Conviction
The penalties for a conviction for drug paraphernalia are not light. First offenses are misdemeanors that carry a fine of up to $500. However, subsequent offenses are felonies that carry up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Regardless of the offense, though, a conviction can put a severe blemish on someone’s criminal history that can be seen by anyone who conducts a background check.
Speak with a Maryland Drug Paraphernalia Attorney Today
If you have been accused of breaking the law by having drug paraphernalia, hiring a Maryland drug paraphernalia lawyer to invoke your rights on your behalf can be one of the best ways to prevent the charge from becoming a conviction.
With the help of an attorney, you can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and put together a case that shows you did not commit the crime you have been accused of committing. Contact a lawyer today.